Clark County Council Passes Budget, But Waits For Approval

The Clark County, Indiana council has passed a $14.5 million budget for next year. It includes funds the panel hopes to win in a lawsuit.

The county has struggled since cutting property tax rates around 25 percent in 2007 to relieve burdens on residents. Officials contend the decision to cut taxes was the result of mathematical errors, and they’ve filed suit against the state.

Earlier this year, the county court and sheriff’s office sued the Clark County to keep operations running. Council President Kevin Vissing says that will require a tax increase next year.

Further, the county can’t raise property taxes on anyone to more than one percent of the total value. Clark County auditor Monty Snelling says anyone paying less than the maximum should expect an increase.

“If you’re at the one percent it can’t go any higher so it’s has to go somewhere else. And it’s kinda like blowing a balloon up inside of a bottle. That balloon can’t get outside that bottle because it’s capped, but it can spread out inside that bottle and take up more room inside of it,” says Snelling.

The Indiana Department of Local Government Finance must review and approve the county budget. If the budget is not approved, county departments must make further cuts. A decision about any tax increases will be made after that.